By Maya S. Bhagat
Curious about how to navigate Visitas and what it means in the scheme of choosing your college? Hear from members of the student body, staff, faculty, and administration at Harvard to get different perspectives on this jam-packed weekend!
From Harvard Administrators
“If you got into Harvard you probably got into a lot of other great schools. You can’t make a bad decision so don’t lose too much sleep over this one. Talk to current students to learn about their experience. Then go with your gut (but come here!).”
— Lawrence S. Bacow, President of Harvard University
—Rakesh Khurana, Dean of Harvard College
—Katherine G. O’Dair, Dean of Students
“Try anything. Go to an event describing something you’ve never heard of. Introduce yourself to someone you would never talk to. Try anything and capture the magic while it unfolds. And throw it back into the universe if you can.”
—Daniel M. Lobo ’14, Career Educator Fellow at the Office of Career Services and Member of First-Generation Alumni group
“Don’t just talk to presenters or the people who you’re staying with. While they’re wonderful resources, you might also want to strike up a conversation with other staff members you meet about why they work at Harvard and what they like about it!”
—Lena Denis, Harvard Map Collection Cartographic Assistant and First-Year Librarian
From A Current Student
“You've worked really hard to get to this point. Use Visitas as a time to unwind and explore the campus, either by yourself or with other prefrosh. Can you picture yourself as a Harvard student walking to class in the morning?”
—Joe A. Grochmal ’19, Senior in Leverett House concentrating in Government
“My classic tip for pre-Freshman during Visitas is to make sure they attend a few Harvard classes. Sniffing up the lecture hall atmosphere and getting a glimpse of the material and pace will help them form a better image of their future at our college.”
—Dr. Sien Verschave, Preceptor for Life Sciences 1a: “An Integrated Introduction to the Life Sciences: Chemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology”
“Every student's experience at Harvard is different, so try to talk with a variety of current students about what they've found rewarding and challenging.”
—Janet Chen, Head Preceptor for Math 21a: “Multivariable Calculus” and Senior Preceptor in Mathematics
“I remember visiting Harvard, just before or after Visitas, staying with someone who'd gone to my high school. And on my way back to the dorm late that evening, I remember passing through Harvard Square, which was so brightly lit, with folks playing chess, of all things, outside of the now-Smith Center. I don't actually play chess, but that late-night vibrance was so new to me, having grown up in the suburbs. And that's what decided it for me. Harvard just seemed like such an exciting place to go to school.”
—David J. Malan ’99, Professor of the Practice of Computer Science and Course Head of CS50: “Introduction to Computer Science”
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Click here to read more of the Flyby Guide to Visitas!